Arsenal are still awaiting offers for left-back Kieran Tierney as the transfer window ticks towards a close, according to Charles Watts, who also stated that the club are surprised that he has not yet got a move away.
Newcastle were linked with the 26-year-old throughout the summer, but have instead signed Chelsea’s academy prospect Lewis Hall. Tierney has not been involved in the beginning stages of Arsenal’s Premier League season as club officials seek to tie up his future.
“We’re not seeing him while these talks are going on,” said Watts. “I don’t think they’ve progressed anywhere.
“Newcastle have signed Lewis Hall now so that’s one potential exit route closed for Tierney which was a surprise. I thought he’d go to Newcastle.
“There’s lots of doors that seem to be closing for Tierney. I don’t know what Newcastle’s scouting department has seen and recommended.
“But clearly they felt that Hall was a better long-term investment than Kieran Tierney. Tierney’s a fantastic left-back, who would have suited Newcastle really well. But obviously the scouting department felt differently. Hall looks like a decent player in the few games that I’ve seen him.
“But if you’ve got a choice between Kieran Tierney and Lewis Hall for around the same sort of transfer fee, for me, there’s only one player I’m signing there and it’s not Hall.”
LACK OF VIABLE OPTIONS
Overseas interest could yet materialise from Real Sociedad who are back in the Champions League this season. But it remains to be seen if the Spanish side can get the deal done from a financial perspective.
“Sociedad are still in the mix,” added Watts. “They’re still hoping to get him and it just depends if they can come up with financial terms. You wonder if that’s going to be possible or not.
“They do have Champions League football this season, which might help in terms of money, but I think Arsenal started this summer wanting big money for Tierney and expected big money for him.”
Arsenal are thought to be holding out for £25m to £30m for Tierney who signed from Celtic in 2019. However, they might have to temper their expectations as the window draws to a conclusion. His former club are not currently thought to be in the running due to the finances involved.
“I think Arsenal will be surprised that we’ve got to this stage of the window, and he’s still there,” continued Watts. “It’s looking more and more difficult to get the sort of fee that they were hoping for.
“Brendan Rodgers already said that they’re not going to go out and spend £20m-£25m on a player even having sold Jota. I’m sure Tierney would like to go back there if he had the opportunity. It’s his club, he’s got great affection for it.
“They’re in the Champions League. It would tick a lot of boxes for him. I’m sure if the opportunity was there, he’d probably take it but financially I just don’t see how Celtic could do it.”
TAVARES TO LEAVE
Fellow exiled left-back Nuno Tavares is also likely to move on, according to Watts, with Arsenal looking for an improvement on the £7m they paid to take him from Benfica in 2021.
“Forest looked like it was definitely happening,” says Watts. “There were talks but they didn’t reach a successful conclusion. That one is dead in the water.
“I’d be surprised if that starts up again, between now and the end of a window versus looking at other options. And Arsenal are looking at other options. There are clubs interested in him.
“I’ve seen the Villa links. He’s obviously got a lot of deficiencies in his game but he’s got a lot of positives in his game. That’s why there is a lot of interest in him. He’s raw. But there is a player there, a really fast player who can score goals, can cause problems, can cause mayhem when he goes forward.
“If you can get that all together in the right way you’ve got a real player on your hands there. Arsenal spent £7m to get him in and they are going to get a lot more than that if they sell. It’s smart business for Arsenal.”